Cervical Cancer Treatments | MedStar Health

How is cervical cancer treated?

The type of treatment you will need depends on the stage of your cancer, as well as your overall health, age, and preferences. Typically, early-stage cervical cancer is one of the most treatable cancers. At MedStar Health, we provide the full range of cervical cancer treatments ranging from various surgical options, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery, to radiation and chemotherapy. A multidisciplinary team of specialists will work closely to determine your best options and help you feel confident in making the right decision for you. Our cervical cancer treatment options are available throughout the Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and Virginia areas.

Treatment options


Surgery plays a role in diagnosing, staging, and treating cervical cancer. There are times when surgery is not the recommended treatment and chemotherapy with radiation can be a treatment. Your doctor will obtain information from tissue biopsy, physician exam and imaging to determine the next best steps in treatment.

  • Precancer surgery: If you have dysplasia or signs of pre-cancer, your doctors may remove abnormal tissue using a LEEP or conization procedure or through ablation involving cold temperatures or a laser.
  • Simple hysterectomy: When cancer is contained to the cervix, your doctors may recommend a hysterectomy. This procedure involves removing the entire cervix and uterus. Our gynecologic oncologists are highly experienced in performing these using minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery, whenever possible. As a result, many patients benefit from less pain, shorter hospital stays, fewer risks, and faster recoveries.
  • Radical hysterectomy: For larger tumors, your surgeon may recommend a radical hysterectomy which involves removing nearby lymph nodes or tissue surrounding the uterus and cervix in addition to both of those organs. When appropriate, this procedure can also often be performed using laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery.
  • Trachelectomy: For women who wish to still have the option of having children, your doctor may discuss whether or not you are a candidate for a trachelectomy, or fertility-sparing surgery. It involves partially removing the cervix while keeping the rest of the uterus in place.
  • Pelvic exenteration: Exenteration is an extensive surgery that may be recommended in specific instances of recurrent disease. It involves removing the same organs removed in a radical hysterectomy as well as the bladder and rectum, requiring your surgeon to reroute urine and/or waste.


Some women with advanced or recurrent disease may benefit from chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves injecting cancer-fighting drugs into a vein or taking a pill to kill cancerous cells anywhere in the body. These medications may also help to alleviate any cervical cancer symptoms and help preserve your quality of life. At MedStar Health, we have access to the most advanced chemotherapies available and will recommend them when appropriate for you.

Learn More About Chemotherapy

Immunotherapy and targeted therapy

Targeted therapies are emerging treatment options that use medicines to harness the power of a person's own immune system to identify and control cancer cells. Thanks to advances made available through clinical trials, we continue investigating the role of these therapies in treating cervical cancer, including the use of immunotherapy in women whose cancer has not responded to standard therapies.

Learn More About Immunotherapy

Learn More About Targeted Therapy

Radiation therapy

Radiation may be recommended to treat tumors larger than 4 cm that have begun to invade other organs or cancer that has returned. In some instances, it may be used in place of surgery or after surgery. At MedStar Health, our radiation oncologists have the expertise and technology necessary for precisely delivering radiation while limiting damage to healthy tissues. Several types of radiation therapy may be used to treat this type of cancer, including the following:

  • Internal radiation (brachytherapy) uses a device that is placed inside the woman's vagina and uterus to deliver the radiation directly to the tumor over four to five treatments.
  • External radiation beams radiate from a large machine into the pelvic region where the cancer is located. One way this is delivered is through intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which allows your doctor to customize the intensity of radiation delivered based on the size and shape of your tumor.

Learn More About Radiation Therapy

Looking for expert cancer care

With multiple locations throughout the region, patients have access to many of the nation’s renowned cancer specialists offering high-quality care, second opinions, and a chance for better outcomes close to where they live and work. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the nation’s comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), serves as the research engine allowing patients access to clinical trials that often lead to breakthroughs in cancer care.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Franklin Square Cancer Center at Loch Raven Campus

5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Russell Morgan Building
First Floor
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9103 Franklin Square Dr.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
Suite 220
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

25500 Point Lookout Rd.
First Fl.
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Why choose us

As a patient at MedStar Health, you'll benefit from compassionate, multidisciplinary care from specialists who personalize your care using the latest, research-backed treatments.

We offer expert gynecologic cancer care, close to home. With several locations throughout the Maryland and Washington, D.C. region, our patients don't have to travel far for state-of-the-art care for cervical cancer. Our gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, radiologists, pathologists, and other providers closely collaborate to determine the best possible treatment options for each patient, including those with complex or advanced cancers.

Our cervical cancer doctors are exceptionally experienced in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery. Surgery often plays a prominent role in treatment for these cancers, and it's crucial to choose surgeons with significant skill and expertise in operating on these delicate structures. In addition to expertise in open surgery, our gynecologic oncologists have collectively performed hundreds of minimally invasive surgeries using laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques that result in less pain, shorter hospital stays, and faster recoveries. We strive to offer the most effective, least invasive surgical options, including fertility-sparing surgeries, whenever possible.

You'll gain access to an entire network of specialists who can help you achieve the highest quality of life. Your patient-centered care involves input from experts in several different specialties to ensure you're aware of all of the possible treatment options, as well as the pros and cons of each. Following treatment, we also work closely with other physicians to help manage any side effects that impact your quality of life, with special emphasis on caring for your urinary and sexual health. This often involves coordination with experts in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery who are skilled at addressing complex pelvic floor complications after cancer treatment.

Awards & recognition

Recipient of an Accreditation with Commendation, the highest level of approval, from the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC)

Numerous surgeons, medical oncologists, and surgical oncologists recognized as "Top Doctors" by both Baltimore Magazine and the Washingtonian

Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Support services

At MedStar Health, your care continues even after you've completed cancer treatment. We're committed to helping you thrive in every way, offering access to specialized care for any treatment symptoms or side effects. You'll benefit from seamless coordination of care to experts in urinary and sexual health, fertility, gastroenterology, and more to address any related problems and promote overall health as you navigate survivorship.

Learn More About Cancer Support Services

Genetic counseling

If you have a significant personal or family history of cancer, you may benefit from meeting with one of our board-certified genetic counselors. They can help you understand any cancer risks and learn strategies for managing or lowering those risks whenever possible.

Learn More About Genetic Counseling

Personalized rehabilitation

Sometimes gynecologic cancer treatment can affect your strength, mobility, endurance, and pelvic floor health. Our rehabilitation experts can design personalized programs to help you return to physical activity and maximize your quality of life.

Learn More About Cancer Rehabilitation


After treatment, talk to your doctor about a survivorship care plan which may involve:

  • A recommended schedule for follow-up visits and imaging tests
  • A personalized plan for managing any lingering cervical cancer treatment side effects
  • Strategies for lowering your risk of recurrence
  • And more...

Learn More About the Cancer Survivorship Program